Fast-forward a few days to a guest commentary by Mr. Ball in which he corrects the record, stating that the price back in the day was $5.5 million and that $11 million is a fair price for this horticultural treasure, which he hopes will remain intact and open to the public. (He also points out that he offered to sell it back to the original owners after a couple of years, when it was clear that things were not working out, for $2.5 mil, but they turned him down.
(by the way, Garden writer Graham Rice had some interesting things to say on the situation a while back on his Amazon blog ; check it out if you just can’t get enough of this story. And Graham, we are totally drooling over that Encyclopedia of Perennials. You’re killin’ us here.)
So: Heronswood. Up in the air. $11 million. A bargain, Mr. Ball points out, making a peculiar comparison between the Heronswood garden and former Saudi ambassador and close Bush family friend (shown here holding hands with the prez–that’s sweet!) Prince Bandar’s palacial Aspen home, priced at $135 million, or Donald Trump’s shack on the beach in Florida, priced at $125 million. Well, yes, those are the two highest asking prices ever seen for a piece of residential real estate, so Heronswood, along with any other piece of real estate on the market, seems like a bargain in comparison.
In fact, on a per-acre basis, it’s exactly half the price of Bandar’s estate, but unless Heronswood includes a home with 16 bathrooms, 15 bedrooms, stables, a tennis court, an indoor swimming pool, outdoor water features and a snowmelt driveway (whatever that is), plus a number of "smaller homes" for our staff, we’re not going for it.